In Paradise Lost, is the epic hero Satan or Adam?

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The hero of a piece of literature is usually the protagonist, or main character. If that were the case with "Paradise Lost ," then we'd have to say that Satan is the hero because he is the protagonist. However, he does not behave in the way a classical...

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The hero of a piece of literature is usually the protagonist, or main character. If that were the case with "Paradise Lost," then we'd have to say that Satan is the hero because he is the protagonist. However, he does not behave in the way a classical hero should. Satan, in this epic, is what we call an "antihero." That is, he is in the typical hero role, but he has none of the typical heroic qualities. The Columbia Encyclopedia describes the antihero as the

principal character of a modern literary or dramatic work who lacks the attributes of the traditional protagonist or hero. The anti-hero's lack of courage, honesty, or grace, his weaknesses and confusion, often reflect modern man's ambivalence toward traditional moral and social virtues.

 

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